182 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. had been established some years before. He states that its inhabitants " get their living by trade and handicrafts, for-they weave many kinds of beautiful and valuable stuffs of silk' and gold. The city has such a good position that merchandize is brought thither from India, Baudas (Baghdad) and Cremesor (the Garmsir orc Hot Country') .'Ľand "many other regions, and that attracts many Latin merchants, especially Genoese, to buy goods and transact other business there." Marco Polo incorrectly describes Tabriz as being in the province of Irak, and equally incorrectly supposes it to be outside Persia. cc Persia," he says, "is a great country which was in old times very illustrious and powerful; but now the Tartars have wasted and destroyed it." The next city mentioned is Saba, now Sava, from which, owing to the resemblance of its name to Sheba, the three Magi were supposed to have set out to worship the new-born Saviour.1 Marco Polo, believing that he had entered Persia at Sava, describes the country as divided into eight kingdoms, a wholly inaccurate division, which does not call for further notice. He refers to the fine horses and the " finest asses in the world," and goes on to say, " In the cities there are traders and artisans who live by their labour and crafts, weaving cloths of gold, and silk stuffs of sundry kinds. They have plenty of cotton produced in the country ; and abundance of wheat, barley, millet, panicle, and wine, with fruits of all kinds." From Saba the Venetian visited Kashan, still famous for its velvets and silks, and from this important com- mercial centre he marched south-east to Yezd. From Yezd to Kerman there are two routes, by both of which I have travelled, and I have identified the more easterly of the two, via Bafk, as that traversed by the Venetian and his companions. Not only are there date palms to-day at Bafk, as mentioned by Marco Polo, but the altitude of the alternative route is too high for dates to grow there. Kerman, which was twice or even three times visited, is described at greater length than any other city ^ * Isaiah Ix. 6 runs, " The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah 5 all they from Sheba shall come : they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord."